Lange's Challenge: Accounting for Meta-laws

Lange issues a novel challenge to philosophical accounts of laws of nature. He notes that the laws of nature seem to be themselves governed by laws analogous to the way that the laws govern particular facts. These higher order laws are the meta-laws of nature. He claims that if a philosophical account of laws aims to accurately characterize the laws, it should be able to account for these meta-laws. To generalize this challenge, I introduce the notion of roles played by laws of nature according to a philosophical account, and identify a number of salient roles. I then apply Lange’s challenge to two views: the regularity view and the universals view. I argue that the regularity view may be able to meet the generalized version of Lange’s challenge, and that the universals view is able to meet the challenge. 1 Meta-laws2 Lange’s Challenge3 The Roles Played by Laws and Meta-laws4 Meta-laws and the Regularity View5 Meta-laws and the Universals View6 Summary and Conclusion
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axs008
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Marc Lange (2007). Laws and Meta-Laws of Nature: Conservation Laws and Symmetries. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):457-481.
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